Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Favorite FREE Genealogy Resources

I posted yesterday about Miriam Midkiff's Forum article on Genealogy Wise titled Your Favorite Free (or Low-Cost) Genealogy Resources, but I didn't list any of my own favorites. Maybe that's why nobody responded to my post! I hope they responded to Miriam's.

Here are my Favorite FREE Genealogy Resources, based on my own research needs:

1) San Diego Family History Center computer center. This local FHC has FREE access to Ancestry.com, Footnote.com, WorldVitalRecords.com, HeritageQuestOnline.com, Godfrey Library, Genline.com, and several other commercial databases. A genealogy researcher in San Diego can capture record images from all of these sites on their flash drive and use them in their research - all for FREE (except for the costs of getting down to the FHC in Mission Valley).

2) Carlsbad (CA) Georgina Cole Library. This public library has a wonderful collection of printed books and periodicals, plus the free access to Ancestry, Footnote, WorldVitalRecords, New England Ancestors, Heritage Quest Online, NewspaperARCHIVE, and several other commercial databases. This library is 43 miles away for me, so the travel cost is higher for me.

3) http://www.familysearch.org/. The FREE LDS FamilySearch site has their legacy databases - International Genealogical Index, Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, 1880 US Census, 1881 UK and Canada censuses, plus the Genealogy Research Guides, Family History Library Catalog, and more; the Record Search Pilot has all of the released Family Search Indexing projects, all for free access at home. More indexed and digitized databases are on the way over many years. The BYU Family History Archive is part of the FamilySearch "family" too. Family Search Labs is developing other FREE resources, including the Research Wiki.

4) http://www.rootsweb.com/. This FREE site has some online record databases, including Death Indexes for Social Security, California, Kentucky, Maine and Texas. The WorldConnect family tree database is valuable, and has the same data as the Ancestry World Tree. Other valuable resources on Rootsweb are the Mailing List Archives and the Rootsweb/Ancestry Message Boards. Ancestry.com hosts the Rootsweb sites without cost.

5) http://www.usgenweb.org/. There is a separate web page for each state, and for each county in each state, all with transcribed and indexed information pertaining to the specific location. There are several different projects (e.g., USGenWeb Archives, Tombstone Transcription Project), all created and maintained by volunteers.

6) www.FamilyTreeLegends.com/records/. This site has some records in vital records, military, land, court and probate, biography and history, geography and reference categories.

7) http://www.cyndislist.com/. Cyndi's List has the best organized collection of genealogy links on many subjects.

8) http://www.findagrave.com/ and http://www.interment.net/. These volunteer cemetery transcription and photograph websites are very useful.

9) http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/. Lorine Schulze has a fine collection of small databases and links to other free and commercial databases, concentrating on immigration, Canada and northeastern US states.

10) http://www.deathindexes.com/. Joe Beine has collected links for free and commercial online death indexes. He also has pages for online Birth and Marriage indexes, Military Indexes, Emigration and Immigration List Indexes, Naturalization Indexes, German resources, and several more.

That's my Top Ten - what's yours? What "really great one" did I not list?


Family Curator said...

Great list, Randy. You've reminded me of some winners I need to revisit. Thank you!

Bill West said...

Hey Randy,
I'd pick your numbers 3-8 and add
Google Books because of all the genealogies as well as local,
county, and state histories.

Still thinking about a tenth pick.